tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV April 9, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
♪ peter: hello, and a very warm welcome indeed to this latest edition of "quadriga," coming to you from the heart of the german capital, berlin. this week, we are looking at those stunning revelations coming out of panama, documents initially leaked to a german newspaper, "suddeutsche zeitung," which gave unprecedented insights into how and where the world's rich and powerful stash their cash. as i said, panama is the focus of the latest revelations, and one panama-based company is at the heart of the scandal, mossack fonseca. it is called and stands accused of offerering tax evevasion and money y laundering facilities to tens of thousands of clients. they apparently include members
of the global political elite, the rich, and the superrich. there are sports stars, too. and there are criminals, including arms traders, drug barons, and terrorists. so on the show today, we will be discussing the question the panama papers, how dirty is the hidden money? to answer that question, i am joined by three excellent observers and journalists. i like to introduce them to you, beginning with max heywood, from transparency international, who says, "we have heardrd too manay empty y promises beforore. governments now have to take real action and make the ownership of all companies public." also with us is malte lehming from berlin's "tagesspiegel" newspaper. welcome, malte. he agrees with max. "we need to know the real and proper name of the owners of every company in the world." but that is easier said then done. business journalist ursula weidenfeld points out, "as long
as it can't be proven that money from shell companies is being used for illegal purposes, we must presume that the people holding those accounts are innocent." max heywood, i would like to begin with you, if i can. i mentioned that you represent the berlin-based organization, transparency international. the name pretty much speaks for itself. it is your job to cast light into shady dealings. what have you learned this past week you didn't know before? max: well, what we have learned is above all, the names of people attached to this, and it has given us a better idea of the size of the system. we had indications, for an example, in excess of $7 -- estimateses of $7 tririllion being stasashed in these places. but now it has giviven us a betr peek at t a small amount of what is actualllly hidden o out ther, and it's once again emphasized for us how much needs still to be done to actually crackdown on this practice. peter: when you say how much needs to be done, i wonder whether it is going to make your work at transparency international easier or more difficult, because obviously, the people who have money to hide, and secrets to hide, they will be working even harder to do so.
max: welell, what we hope is tht the space for them is goining to keep getting smaller and smaller, so this agenda has really moved forward, and not in the last two or three years. -- a lot in the last two or three years. no one was talking about this three or four years ago. this week, it has really been a massive boost for the issue. there's a lot more public awareness. peter: you call it a big breakthrough. max: absolutely. peter: ok. malte, as the law-abiding and taxpaying citizen that i believe you to be, what is your reaction to what you have heard here in panama? malte: actually, it is -- it hasn't been proved that there were illegal things going on, yet. we just another. -- we just don't know that. we have a huge amount of information, 2.6 terabytes of informrmation. that is really huge. i think it is a breakthrough. it is not that we didn't know anything about it. we knew a lot about how shell bank accounts and companies work, and where they are locacated, and things like that. but sometimes it is like, you already know things about it,
but then comes something like this, the panama papers. and it really gives you a picture about what is going on. i think there is -- there may be something like the right of being anonymous in certain business, but on the other hand, there is a whole system of secret bank accounts, companies that brings more damage to the whwhole world, than if we were o just skip p the right of being anonymous. peter: i'm interested in what you would have to say, ursula. the right to be anonymous. i've got a quote from the company. an interesting line of defense. "privacy is a fundamental human right eating eroded more and more in the human world." they are setting themselves up as the human rights
organization. but that is close to the quote you have at the beginning of the show. where dodo you stand? that hidingagree crimiminal things should not be defended. but on the other hand, we don't criminal things were in there. we assume there has been criminality and money laundering, but we don't know anything about criminal things going on. it,ong as we don't know everybody has the presumption of being innocent. that seems to me to be a very high goal that should be defended at all times. we live in highly develoloped countries. even the u.s. seems to be a tax --en when it comes to
england is one, for the british virgin islands. as long as we don't know there has been criminal things within their, we shouldn't -- within there, we shouldn't be quick to judge all the shell companies as --ng not legal, asas being not as being not legal. in individual cases, absolutely there is a presumption of innocence and authorities will decide. i can reasonably be confident in saying there will be cases where criminal activity will be found. given what we have seen, undoubtedly there will be cases found where it is confirmed by court. the main argument is about the system. this international global system, of which this is just a small example. there are many other jurisdictions, absolutely delaware. the argument that everybody else is doing it doesn't make it better. ursula: but is that an argument against shell companinies, or
against the internanational community that isn't able or willing to go for a criminal things, to go for money-laundering, or terrorism or things like that. thehe international community should crackdown. they had committed to do that. in 2014, the g20 companies -- countries committed. they said, we have a 10 point plan, precisely to prevent these kinds. the implementation is missing. malte: if i may add to this, i think the system you described, there can't be any doubt that it makes tax evasion easier. it makes money-laundering easier, terror financing easier, it makes circumventing u.n. sanctions systems easier, so there are cleararly huge disadvantages of the system. what is the clear advantage of having shell companies and bank accounts, but there are clear
disadvantages. ursula: i think it is the nature of money to be anonymous that is the nature of money. . peter: please explain. ursula: if it comes to cash, if i give you 100 euros, are a thousand dollars, nobody knows where it has been before, and nobody would know where it would go. money is not a personal thing. it is just trust, which is handled ovover from one end tote other. that is the nature of money. , money traded within these circles you described, or money in s shell companies is illegal money -- malte: i never said that. ursula: i understood that. malte: no, the system is legal as it is, but that's the
problem. it is too legal. in other times, we would have said diplomacy is anonymous in nature, or telephone calls. and after scandals, like wikileaks, and things like this, in the digital age, money is not anonymous. you can follow the money if you have the tools, and if it is legal to track the money. to make it illegal or create a system that relies upon the anonymous nature of the money, that is the problem. ursula: if you have money which way, and in a proper you u have paid your taxes, and you did everything anyone could expect from you in terms of taxation, it is yoyour right too money,u want to with the and not to be overseenen in doig that.. what is the advantage foror
having a system that allows anonymous bank accounts? why do people hit? what is the -- why do people need it, what is the good reason? ursula: if you are in the international shipping business, you would need shell companies to process the money to ships and crews. if you are a wealthy person who inherited -- an inheritance, you probably would go for something like that. if you are prominent and want to buy a fancy house or whatever, you probably would prefer to be not known by the seller. there are some reasons. can i give you a statistics? the u.k.agues in looked at houses and crusted against corruption cases. they found over 70% of corruption cases where money went into real estate was
through shell companies. wewe find this again and -- and again. they are used to enable money-laundering, because the issues of the ownership being anonymous, it is i impossible to tell the difference betweeeen lelegal and ilillegal. it is because it is secret. the assumption that this is legal, which is an interesting defense -- the best defense i have h heard is that it t is le. if that is the bestt argument, this is not really a defensible factor in my view. peter: we will come back to that line of thought in a second. a lot of questions clearly in the past week or so being asked in the media about what is going on in panama. another question, what do ordinary people think? we haven't idea -- have an idea where people are protesting. the icelandic leader has had to step down. >> t the icelandic prime minist, taken by surprise. >> what can you tell me about the company mr. banister r -- m.
prprime minister?? -- - if-- it's a company i recall cororrectly, which is associated with one of the companies that i was on the board of. and it had an account, which as -- on thed, has been tax account, since it was established. now i am starting to feel a bit strange about these questions, because it is like you are accusing me of something. >> and icelandic colleague who had evaluated the panama papers joint the discussion, but the two journalists did not met -- get much further. the prime minister broke off the interview. angry protesters hit the e stres in iceland. the political backlash has been severe.
and with other politicians in the panama papers,s, he will not be the only one affected. peter: max haywood, let ordinary people on the streets in iceland. we see the same thing happening in argentina and other countries as well. i want to introduce a quote from a german journalist, who has been leading the probe. he says, not one single scandal there has nots, been one single scandal in recent years where there has been no connection to the panama papers. do you expect there to be more public anger and wrath about what we are seeing, or is there going to be one great big international shrug, and people are going to say, that is just what they do? max: that's one of the big changes. if t tse thihings had been k knn among people who work on these issues, like financial journalists, this has been a turning point. people realizing and connecting
the dots between problems at home, corruption, and lack of infrastructure, and obscure shell companies. the dots has been joined in a dramatically. probably, public anger will continue, unless something is done immediately. peter: political journalist ming, a journalist came out and said, the revelations are not entirely surprising. [laughter] that they are not going to be a charge to the status quo. malte: they are not surprising. everything was known in 74 about soviet brutality, systems, siberia, the slave labor camps. but the book itself just brought so many documents, and named people, that it changed a lot. it changed the whole atmosphere
in the west towards the soviet union and towards communism, and makes it much more harder for defenders of communism. so it makes it much more harder for defenders of the secret money global system to defend it. as soon as you see what is done with the money. ursula: i have not so sure whether we are at a real turning point right now. leagues,ad switched and now we have a bigger lead. -- league . it really makes a difference. about whether we are at a turning point, if you think about the international community willing to take action, i'm not sure whether they will go for it. we have tax havens in new york -- more developeped countries. e agreements, and nothing worked properly. on the other hand, the real
turning point when it comes to the question of freedom or more people looking at money and bank accounts, and that is a real turning period we are in. malte: it is a turning point i would say, just because the public now knows that keeping secrets is so much more difficult than it used to be. as i said before, with wikileaks, and the snowden papers, now the panama papers, in very short time limits we see that it is almost impossible to keep secrets really secret in the digital age. that is the turning point that the panama papers really contribute to. you talk about keeping secrets and the attitude the public has, and how these things are explained -- max, let's talk
about the role of the german banks. the newspaper at the heart of this story reported this week, the figures are staggering. thoseman banks used services. at least 14 banks set up a total of more than 1200 shell companies. that does not s sound like peope are beginning to cottonn on that thisis is not the realm of legalility. max: absolutely. the other thing is the scale of the system. largest things in the world, leading law firms all over the world, offering services. until a few years ago, there were circles in whicich this is perfectly acceptable.it is seen as a question of individual rights. the question is that the balance has to be with the social good. i think that is where the key of the discussion is, around social interest and the interest of the global community as a whole, and citizens having to pay more tax because wealthy people are
avoioiding their tax, and corruption, which also takes away from ordinary citizens, which is part of the system. interesting, that the talking points we are hearing from the industry are also -- always about privacy and individual rights, and ignoring the social process. ursula: i agree with you that we do have to find the balance between individual freedom and the interest of the social interest, but when it comes to individual rights, you have the right, and you should defend the right of your own money, when it is taxed, and when it is legally earned, to do with it what you want to do. of markets the core economies and even of social market economies. away, begin to take that
, youill shrink competition will minimize competition within the societies, but even between end, its -- and in the would make the economies lower. it would demolish growth, and it and morelead to growth wealth of society. peter: ok, let's move on. the question about whether people are behaving legitimately, legally, or illegally, and putting their cash and shell companies, that is an open discussion. one thing we do know is that people who have been doing this in panama has been keeping very bad company. it's like a rogues gallery. >> funding for the assads. civil war has beenen raging in syria for five years, and bashar
al-assad has made headlines using barrel bombs against his own people. the syrian leader isn't in the panama papers, but his cousin is. he's one of the most powerful businessman in the country. has the war been personally fifinanced through panamananian accounts? and the shell company had other dubious customers. cash for weapons. years, he has been an associate of robert moog of a, a dictator who has used terror, and driven zimbabwe to economic ruin. they also say he played a key work in applying arms to the war-torn democratic republic of congo in the 1990's. money for the drug trade. raphael quintero was one of mosto's must powerful -- powerful drug g barons. released in 2013 after decades behind bars, he is once again i theed man, and he is in
panama papers. if they serve this kind of clientele, shouldn't tax havens be banned completely? peter: i suppose that is the question. ursula, i would like to go back to where we were. my personal concern is when you see that practices of the people we just saw in that clip, it leads to a huge erosion of trust. in society, in the economy. if societies and economies don't have trust, they don't work. ursula: you are completely y wo. i think k nobody would defend criminal things, not even if they are presidents or whoever. sense but if i have the that my local tax authorities know everything about my financial standing, right down to the last euro, but they don't know about the other guys, then i'm going to start cheating too. look ati think if you
developed countries, most people pay their taxes properly, and most people behave correctly. we do have some people who don't, and probably in some parts of the world, they are more than in europe or wherever. but when it comes to tax havens, what is a tax havens? it is only the difference between a high tax country and a lower tax country. from the perspective of a high-tech country, you would say, this is a tax havens there, and people who try to bring their money to the low tax country -- max: i want to jump in there. we called tax havens jurisdictions. the key attraction is the secrecy. the tax benefits are nice, but
the secrecy is what they are selling. ursula: so competition is a good thing, and even tax competition is legal. max: you mean tax competition between countries? absolutely not. nationstates should not be continued -- competing based on taxes. great investment comes from better roads, better education, highly qualified task forces, all of which are paid for by taxes. -- is ad argue taxax as price of realization. that is a quote from a u.s. supreme court justice. point. max, you are an expert from transparency international. everyone is calling for a global transparency initiative. now you have 30 seconds.. ll me whatat that could be like and whether it could happen. be, essentially
everybody should have a national public registry of who owns companies, just knowing the ultimate owner, which would be aggregated into o a globalal register. it would only allow people to find who is the owner.it is a simple technical fix . governments have to do it. peter: is it going to happen? ursula: max:max: yes it will, in time. 10 years from now, this will be like smoking there are. [laughter] peter: what is the moral of the story we have been talking about today? malte: i think that you have to make judgment. you have to make judgment between keeping the right of privacy, for the benefit of rich and superrich to keep money field from the public and to keep aies, system alive and functioning, which makes it easier to tax evasion, terrorist financing, money laundering.
this is an adjustment we have to make, and i think it is obvious what judgment you have to make. ursula: i respect there is a risk, and i accept that, but i think it is more important to go forward -- for real criminal things, organized crime, and that would be the most important thing. max: the days of secrecy are counted, it is very clear. thank you very much indeed for joining us here on the latest edition of "quadriga." i hope we have given you plenty of food for thought. get in touch with us by mail, social media, and here on the show. it has been a great pleasure. thank you very much, goodbye. ♪
♪ michelle: hello and welcome to "focus on europe." i'm michelle hennery. today, we give special attention to the terror rocking the continent from the victims picking up the pieces to the terrorists trying to reach new recruits. on the programme today, life in belgium after the bombings. turkey's fearless journalists. and the walls between catholics and protestants in northern ireland. after the terror attacks in
belgium, people there and across europe are unsurprisingly afraid of it happening again. i lived in brussels before moving to germany, and friends there say that even though fear now accompanies them where ever they go, they refuse to gigive n to the terrororists. through the grief in the aftermath of the attacks, the capital of a country long known for the divide between its french and flemish speaking communities, has become more united. for laurent duhaut, maalbeek subway station will be hallowed ground for the rest of his life. among the 13 people killed by the suicide bombing of this metro station last tuesday was his best friend. >> as soon as i heard about the the attacks i tried to contact , my friends and family. but i had no idea anyone i knew could be in the metro. i still can't believe someone
could go to work and not come back. >> the bomb ripped through the station about 9:00 in the morning. the train and platform were crowded. many people were headed for the nearby european union headquarters. an hour earlier, brussels' zaventem airport had been hit by two other suicide bombers. at least 35 people were killed in the attacks. >> i still remember the images from september 11, of people running away, down the street in new york. and when i saw the images from the airport i thought, oh no, not again! >> but the nightmare scenario was reality. every day since the attacks people havave gathered outside e stock exchange to lay flowers,
candles and personal notes. , belgians and immigrants standing shoulder toto shoulder, in defiance of the terrorists. among the immigrant community, many also fear the rise of animosity and prejudice in the wake of the attacks. >> i'm worried about my children's future. how are people going to look at them? i hope people know that these terrorists were not true muslims. >> it's almost impossible to protect ourselves from terrorists. cowards, that's all they are. cowards. >> the government has stepped up security on the streets, in hopes of ensuring safety and reassuring the public. meanwhile life in brussels has , carried on. the subway line hit by the one attacker is up and running again. but the climate of fear is inescapable. many here are angry at the
authorities, too. >> the government waited too long. they'd known since november that there were terrorists in the city, but did nothing. they should have intensified surveillance of the suspects, and monitored their personal lives more closely. that would have been possible, after all. >> indeed, the belgian police had unknowingly already been to the building where the attackers lived. in february, residents in the schaerbeek district reported that a window pane had fallen onto a parked car. one of their neighbors was ibrahim el bakraoui, who blew himselelf up at the airporort. only after the attacks did the police discover the makeshift bomb-making factory on the fifth floor. this was just one of a litany of errors on the part of the security services. >> more personnel and more money are part of the solution, but they must also act in a more
flexible legal frame. for instance, belgian intelligence had the authorization to tap the phones, just in 2012 or 2013. that means 11 years after september 11. which is crazy. >> many questions remain unanswered. what is clear is that life has changed in the belgian capital. laurent duhaut and his best friend of 20 years used to meet regularly at this cafe. >> we belgians are optimists. so we will carry on somehow, and , pull through these difficult times. but the pain and sorrow have been a big blow, and that feeling will stay forever. >> that pain has brought the country together. people in belgium are determined
not to let terror and fear rule their lives. >> while the belgians are determined to persevere, it seems so are the terrorists. there is a lot of concern that some islamic state fighters are sneaking across borders, hiding among the thousands of refugees coming into the continent. however, many of them are home grown. there is even a growing community of german-speaking jihadists who are using the internet to find new recruits to carry out attacks. >> in the past few years, around 800 germans left to join the so-called islamic state. around a third have returned and many of them are now considered a terrorist threat. intelligence services attempt to monitor them, but it't's impossible to know for sure what's going on inside their minds. is released their first propaganda video in german last year.
mahmoud began attracting attentioion in his early twenti. in 2006, he founded an islamic youth organization in his home city of vienna, and gave his first interview on the banks of the river danube. [indiscernible] mahmoud then took his work underground. he founded the global islamic media front a jihadist website with connections to al qaeda. the video showows attackcks on amererican soldiers. their goal was to recruit fighters against the us and their allies. mahmoud was already being watched by international intelligence services. agents placed a small camera in the entrance to his apartment building, getting them one step closer to uncovering t the network.
mohamed mahmoud was the leader behind the organization. german journalists made contact through the terrorists' pr team , and the interview was arranged in secret. a hooded man turned up. he didn't want to be recognized and demanded that his voice be disguised. as it later transpired, the man was mohamed mahmoud. [indiscernible] intelligence services widened their surveillance. mahmoud's fourth-floor house was bugged. these are extracts from operation target it reads m.m demands full equipment, in the form of a
kalashnikov, cartridges, bombs etc. investigators gained access shortly after. a special unit stormed mahmoud's home to discover more proof of links to al qaeda. the extremists were arrested. court proceedings began in 2007 in vienna. mohamed mahmoud was sentenced to four years in prison for establishing and promoting a terrorist association. [indiscernible] after his release, mahmoud eventually ended up in erbach in southern germany, where he established contact with the german jihadist scene. he also gave german reporters another interview. [indiscernible] mahmoud's propaganda videos were a clear call to violence. for him, the enemy are the non-believers, the infidels, or kafir.
hold an appeal, whether that's in syria or europe. >> working as a journalist in the u.s., or here in germany, i often take for granted that we are able to freely express opinions or seek out stories critical of the government. the same can't be said for turkey, where a number of opposition news outlets have been closed and journalists arrested. nowhere in the country is this more apparent than in the kurdish region in the southeast. our correspondent ventured there toto speak with a reporter w who puts his life in danger to make sure the stories there don't go unheard. >> faruk balikci, getting ready to go live on-air. the police and army have sealed off an area in the city of diyarbakir. shots are then heard. reports emerge that a few dozen armed fighters from the banned kurdish workers party or pkk , have holed up in the
neighborhood. suddenly tear gas canisters are , launched towards the reporter. balikci has to stop the shoot. his employer, news broadcaster imc, is the only station in the country that reports regularly on the fighting here in the kurdish-majority southeast of the country. >> we get tear-gassed for doinig our job. i am constantly being prevented from repororting on evevents he. >> shortly afterwards, balikci asks people on the street what they know about the gunfire, and whether there have been civilian casualties. frustration and resignation are increasingly widespread here. >> where are we supposed to go? the fighting moves from one neighborhood to the next, with us in the middle. all we can do is leave, or put up with the curfews.
♪ >> diyarbakir is the unofficial capital of turkey's kurdish heartland. for months now, many parts of the region have returned to conditions resembling civilwar. peace talks between the pkk and the turkish government broke down last summer. the subsequent violence has seen tens of thousands of civilians displaced. kurdish journalists are also coming under fire between the fronts. faruk balikci has been reporting from his native diyarbakir for 25 years. it's been a long time since he can remember things being this bad for journalists. >> stations are routinely closed down, and colleagues jailed. the government threw us off the turkish satellite network. we've managed to find an alternative, but we don't know what awaits us tomorrow. >> on the latest press freedom index published by reporters without borders, turkey ranks at
149 out of 180 nations. president recep tayyip erdogan personally leads a campaign of intimidation and incitement against non-compliant journalists. in the speech he says critics of , his policy on the kurds are likewise terrorists. with shocking consequences for reporters. today balikci is visiting his imc colleague refik tekin, who's been off work sick since being shot two months ago. >> the cameraman was accompanying a delegation of kurdish politicians in the war-torn city of cizre. although they waved white flags, they were targeted without warning. tekin kept his camera running. >> in that city, there was no violence between the two sides back then.
so, it wasn't as if we were caught in crossfire. the police deliberately shot at us, because we are journalists. that's what you get when kurdish journalists are depicted in the pro-government media as enemies of the state. so why not kill them? ,>> faruk balikci's next stop is a press conference for the pro-kurdish hdp party as always subjecect to plainclothes police surveillance. >> imc is eager not to incur resentment from the other side of the conflict a side they have sympathies with. the kurdish nationalists are currently calling on kurdish journalists to show solidarity with what they call the fight for liberation. criticisism of the pkk's s armed struggle is not welcome. >> there are no direct threats. but we do sometimes have to justify ourselves for our reports.s.
>> turkish jails are currently home to several dozen journalists. many are awaiting trial. faruk balikci's employer, news channel imc, is under massive pressure from the government. but the reporter will not yield, and will continue to cover the violence and human rights abuses in the kurdish part of turkey. especiallyly now, as the world begins to turn its attention elsesewhere. ♪ michelle: in the final part of our series on the walls that either unite or divide us, we go to northern ireland. there, in belfast we find the , so-called peace walls. these are the walls that separate the catholic and protestant communities, which endured decades of violent and bloody clashes. almost twenty years ago, when the conflict officially ended, the walls were supposed to come
down, but they remain. >> these walls have seen decades of bloodshed. i've come to belfast in northern ireland and booked a tour of the so-called peace walls. my driver, peter grew up in the , shadow of these structures, that are designed to keep catholics and protestants segregated, so he knows his way around. >> they say because they are a temporary structure, that they did not map them, but its 46-years-old. if you pull up your google map today and look where we are standing, there is no wall there, because it does not exist. >> but for many in belfast the walls are a sad reality. teena patrick, who lives in a protestatant neighborhood tells me, it is still too early to bring the walls down. the gate she lives right next to isis only open during the day. and there are good reasons for that. >> the l last murder that was de here was done on a motor bike.
so that's on people minds as , well. there isis a lot of work that neededs to be done on the e minf people rather than the physical thing itself. >> almost 20 years after the good friday peace agreement between catholic nationalists and protestant unionists, she still gets golf balls and -- she still gets stones and bottles thrown at her house. she was involved in the petition to get what is today belfast's longest peace wall. >> i feel that if the wall had not went up our community would have suffered a domino effect. as one row of houses became vacant the fell and that continued up the street. they were racked and burned. so, the wall then n was erected and that saved our community. itit was like a barrrrier of strength around our community. >> the concept proved so popular for both protestant and catholic communities alike that the number of permanent walls actually increased after the peace agreement in 1998. but my cab driver peter, a
catholic, tells me there's still hope. at a memorial site for fighters of the ira terror group in west belfast, he explains that some residentnts decided to get rid f the cages protecting their back yard. >> can you see the line on the wall where it existed? >> i do. >> so 14 weeks ago they took it , down. so againthat is the percepeption of youour normrmality and my normality. my normality was this cages, fences and protection. and your normality is without that. so for me these two houses, taking them down is a big step forward. a big, big step forward. >> so that is the kind of progress we are looking at? by these standards events on , crumlin road my next stop are something akin to a revolution. this is where the first peace wall fell to be replaced by railings. i continue my cap tour.
a new gate opened, a wall down, but 98 walls to go. belfast is living proof of how difficult it is to overcome the invisible dividing lines. on the protestant side of the fence, the community worker who helped bring down the first wall in belfast is ian mclachlan. he believes the remaining walls will only come down if there is a prospect of a better life for local people. >> a better future for the society. in many cases, that promise has yet to be fulfilled. so, we still have areas of multiple deprivation, high poverty levels and those areas , today replicate the areas in which the worst parts of the conflict took place in this country. >> cab driver peter says a berlin wall moment is still a distant dream for belfast. in
in the meantime, the city can at least profit from tourists coming to visit the walls. michelle: can peace only be achieved by more walls and barbed wire? or is something more needed? please let us know what you think about that or any of today's storories by getting in touch on facebook, e-mail, or twitter. in this modern age, everywhere you look, a new social network is popping up. despite their amazing ability to bring us closer together after all without them we here at , "focus on europe" wouldn't be able to connect with you the viewers from around the world so easily, they also make many of us feel disconnected from the people who are right in front of us. answer this honestly, do you know your neighbors? that's where a new kind of social network has come in. inin italy, the network, social street, in which entire neighourhoods make an effort to get to know each other, is thriving. and it's all happening offline. ♪
>> the via fondazza in central bologna is a community in itself. luigi nardacchione knows all of his neighbors, and they all know each other. even in italy it's the kind of , atmosphere you now only see in small towns. > before, people were used to staying in the square after the office, speaking to people as in the villas when i was a child, for instance. now, the people are running here and there, and closed into the apartment. >> nardacchione helped to reverse that trend. in 2013, he and a friend founded the first social street on the via fondazza. nardacchione and his family were new in town, and didn't hahave y friends. so, he started a facebook group where residents could chat. more importantly, however, theyy were urged to pack away their laptops, go out and meet each other in person.
>> the real-world street now ps host to music concerts, workshops and street parties. the friendly-neighborhood concept has caught on in style.. ththere are nonow over 200 socil streets in italy, and over 400 worldwide. >> now, after three years with social street on via fondazza, my life has changed. i am very happy. you ask, why? well you feel part of sosomethi, , you feel part of the community. you know you are not alone. when you have a problem, you know you can share with your neighbor. >> that requires mutual trust, one of the foundations of social street. this group of young people from across bologna are meeting to set up their own version of federico's idea. here, a virtual facebook group is becoming a neighborhood in the real world.
>> it really looks like a party where everybody knows each other but actually it's not like this. , many of the people here see each other for the first time in person. >> they've already taken it a step further on the via fondazza. when budding musician mathilde practices on the piano, her home is turned into an impromptu concert hall on a truly social street where neighbors share their lives with each other. [applause] michelle: that makes me want to get out and knock on a few doors. well, that's it for today. thank you for wawatching. in the meantime it's goodbye , from me and the whole team. see you next time. ♪ ]ñ]ñ]ñíñíñíñéñéñéñéñéñéñq?q?q??